Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland has launched an emergency appeal as it faces major funding drops due to lockdown
One of Scotland’s largest charities has revealed lockdown has led to it losing £500,000 a month.
Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland (CHSS) has launched an urgent appeal for funding.
The charity has said the closure of its shops and cancellation of its events has seen it lose half a million pounds a month, but demand for its support services is up 80%.
Unless it sees a large increase in donations, the charity fears it may have to close some of its essential services in a matter of months.
The charity – which cares for people living with chest, heart and stroke conditions, including coronavirus - says it has seen demand for its advice line and one to one community support services steadily increase - reaching a peak last week of 80% more demand compared with the same time last year.
Its community support teams and peer support groups are being offered over the phone or via teleconference, providing vital support to those who are often isolated, vulnerable and struggling with health problems.
Darlene Drummond, lead community support coordinator at CHSS, said: “It’s desperately sad to imagine a world without our services. For many of the people that I support and talk to every day, I am their lifeline to the outside world - without me, there is no one else.
“The most vulnerable, who are shielding and isolating, and trapped in their houses and their mental and physical health is being drastically affected. Often my phone call is the only contact that they will have in the day. Without my specialised support, there is no one else left to help them.
“This is just an example of who I’m helping every day, but the charity has people like me across Scotland helping thousands of others. I can’t bear the thought of not being able to help them anymore, please give what you can today.”
Jane-Claire Judson, chief executive of Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland, said: “Right now, more people in Scotland than ever before are in desperate need for our help. We want to make sure we are still here to support them now and in the future.
“The jobs of our lifeline nurses and support workers, like Darlene’s, are under serious threat.
“As a charity, we have been here for over 125 years, fighting Scotland’s biggest killers, and we won’t give up now.
“Without donations, some services could close in a matter of months. Please donate whatever you can to make sure we’re still here to help those who desperately need us right now.”
In an emotional appeal to the public, stroke survivor Debbie Matthew, heart attack survivor Euan Cameron and Richard Cowan, who is living with lung condition COPD, have written an open letter.
The letter said: “You were there for us when our lives changed forever – and you continue to give us strength.
“Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland has always been there for people with our conditions, but it is losing half a million pounds a month.
“The jobs of the lifeline nurses and support workers who are there for us and our families are under threat.
“Your donation matters. It will fund a nurse to always be at the end of a phone. It will make sure someone who understands will be there to help in our time of need.”